Posts tagged ‘sustainable consumption’

April 18, 2012

Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat, and Consciousness

It’s spring time, the season of luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv.*

That means some of you might be in the market to tie the knot/take the plunge/come up with more corny euphemisms for getting married.

The initiated know that the 4 C’s — cut, clarity, color, and carat weight — are important. But now there’s something else to judge your ring by: how green it is!

Lots of mining is bad for the environment, and “conflict diamonds” are used to fund violent rebel groups. The good news is that some jewelers have decided that it’s time for a change.

Enter lab-created gem quality diamonds. They are sustainable, conflict-free, easy to customize, and more affordable!

For more info, go to green Karat here to see some beautiful designs.

Not your cup of tea? Just remember to check out the info of your diamonds wherever you buy them; most websites have a page discussing the origins of their rocks.

Oooh. Sparkly.

*Arguably, winter, by virtue of containing February and Valentine’s Day, is the season of love, but that makes this post less relevant, so try not to think about it.

April 16, 2012

Go Green to Get the Green

Sustainability doesn’t only mean saving the planet; it usually just makes plain old business sense. See the below article from Forbes for such an example!

In a new study, “The Relationship Between Corporate Sustainability and Firm Financial Performance,” the pair analyzed data from 562 branches of PNC Bank. The company has 93 LEED-certified branches, meaning the buildings meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s┬ástandards for energy efficiency and other measures of greenness.

Those earth-friendly branches reported annual revenues averaging more than $3 million higher than their 469 non-LEED counterparts, which works out to $461,300 in extra sales per employee. Each LEED branch opened 458 more deposit accounts, and booked consumer loan balances averaging $994,900 higher, than the typical non-LEED PNC branch. At the same time, the yearly cost of utilities was $675.26 lower per employee at the green branches.

Why do the earth-friendly locations perform so much better? Conlon and Gravas believe one reason is that employees in the LEED branches are more satisfied and engaged, which apparently makes them more productive, and may improve customer service as well. “People are certainly proud to be working in LEED buildings,” notes Gravas.

The biggest factor, however, is probably that PNC launched a marketing campaign in 2009 that trumpeted its LEED branches’ greenness. When customers have a choice, it seems, they gravitate toward companies that do their bit to sustain the planet.

March 29, 2012

Go Fish

Fish is…well…delicious. It’s also a healthy alternative to red meat, and can be an environmentally better choice — unlike cows, fish don’t require pasture land, and they aren’t passing gas packed with the green house gas methane.

When it comes to eating fish responsibly, though, it’s all about eating the right fish. Overfishing is a big problem: it means populations of big fish are dwindling — and only juveniles are left in the water. Sometimes these juveniles are fished too, which means there’s no fish left to continue the populations! This is bad news for recreational fishers (fewer huge catches for Kodak moments!) and for major populations of people that depend on fish supplies as a critical food supply.
Here’s an awesome Blue Planet video to learn more about the problem:

What can you do? Don’t worry; you don’t have to give up fish! Click below for some tasty (and sustainable) recipes.